**spoiler alert** We have brains that allow us to predict the future We predict the future based on past memories
BUT our past memories are falliable: w**spoiler alert** We have brains that allow us to predict the future We predict the future based on past memories
BUT our past memories are falliable: we tend to fill in details in our memories - we remember things not as they actually happened, but as we think they happened when we think about them in the future.
AND we predict poorly because 1. we fill in details that will never come to pass (we are optimists!) 2. we leave out (often unpleasant) details that do come to pass
ALSO when thinking about the future, we find it impossible to leave out how we are feeling now, and impossible to recognize how we will think about things that happen later.
SO how to make better predictions and thus be happier?
ASK PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE WHAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT DOING "when people are deprived of the information that imagination requires and are thus forced to use others as surrogates, they make remarkably accurate predictions about their future feelings."
We Don't Do This.
WHY? - because we assume we are unique little snowflakes: - we attribute other people's choices to attirbutes of the chooser ("Phil picked English because he's a literary type"), but attribute our choices to options ("I picked it because it is easier than economics") - recognize our decisions are influenced by social norms ("I was too embarrassed to raise my hand because I was super confused", but don't recognize others' decisions are based on the same factors ("No one else raised a hand because nobody else was as confused as I") - Our choices reflect our aversions ("I voted for kerry b/c i can't stand bush") but assume others' reflect their appetites ("if Leon voted for Kerry, it's because he likes him")
ALSO - even though we aren't special, the way we know ourselves is -- we experience our own thoughts and feelings but must infer those of others - we enjoy thinking of ourselves as special -- we want to fit in, but not too well - we tend to overestimate *everybody's* uniqueness -- despite having very similar characteristics (breathe oxygen, mostly water-based, big brains, etc) we focus on differences to decide who to hang out with, hump, and do business with. we are obsessed with differences and thus overestimate how different people are.
so, ask other people who have had similar experiences to predict how happy you'll be!
"surrogation is a cheap and effective way to predict one's future emotions, but because we don't realize just how similar we all are, we reject this reliable method and rely instad on our imaginations, as flawed and falliable as they may be."...more
If you're in a long-term relationship, or ever want to be in one, you must read this book.
It tells you how to have the security, stability, comfort,If you're in a long-term relationship, or ever want to be in one, you must read this book.
It tells you how to have the security, stability, comfort, etc that are requirements for a healthy a LT relationship while at the same time creating the uncertainty, mystery, and risk that are requirements for passion.
The author is a therapist in NY and draws on cases to illustrate her points. It's engaging, the topic is fascinating, and Perel has some refreshingly smart suggestions for maintaining or recapturing eroticism in relationships. Note that this book probably won't resonate with everybody: some of her suggestions have a healthy disregard for the status quo, which the iconoclastic realist in me appreciates.
As an (um) firm believer that if people had better sex lives, the world would be a happier place, take my advice: don't sleep on this one!...more
The book is about how to meet people and develop deeper relationships more quickly. Ferrazzi shares his philosophy on life--you can't succeed without the help of others--and outlines strategies to make connecting easier.
These strategies are a reinforcement of the Golden Rule, and they boil down to things like: Always looking to help or connect people,
Have a story to tell,
Show vulnerability first to make the conversation more intimate,
Become indispensible in one specific area to become more valuable to your company,
Ping your contacts at least once a quarter,
Do your homework; make sure you know details about the people you will be meeting,
Be bold; believe you have something to offer and others will treat you as such, and
Speak at, or start a conference to develop your personal brand.
The advice Ferrazzi presents is useful for managing one's personal and professional lives (in his life, Ferrazzi does not make a distinction between the two) and really preaches that a different mindset is required in order to be always connecting. It's a good read, and while Ferrazzi name-drops a lot, he's ultimately a (smart, ambitious) kid from working class Pennsylvania who has networked his way to both success and what sounds like a fulfilling life....more
I first heard of Maverick author Ricardo Semler when I came across a blurb for his new book called The Seven-Day Weekend in a copy of Inc Magazine a few months back. Semler's counter-intuitive approach to running a business immediately intruiged me, because it seemed to solve many of the employee satisfaction problems that plague most North American companies these days.
Semler's company, Semco, has eliminated org charts, made vacation time mandatory, allows employees to set their own salaries, and requires employees to evaluate their bosses. I'm quite excited to dig into this book because I believe most of what Semler preaches makes sense if running a business with a long-term outlook: he encourages employee growth, trusts them to take responsibility and holds them accountable, holds performance above all else when evaluating employees, and treats them like people who are motivated by different different types of incentives.
Semler has lectured on his "unorthodox" methods at HBS, and I've found a fascinating article on Semco at CIOInsight.com. I think this is going to be a terribly insightful read. ...more
dyson is an inventor, designer, engineer, entrepreneur, and iconoclast. he invented the dyson vacuum cleaner (amongst other products). dyson pulls nodyson is an inventor, designer, engineer, entrepreneur, and iconoclast. he invented the dyson vacuum cleaner (amongst other products). dyson pulls no punches, and his candor is refreshing - there are no sound bites here. i found myself laughing out loud at least once a chapter. if you're into thinking differently about the "proper" way of doing anything (running a company, building a product, etc etc), i'd recommend this book. i wanted to give it 4.5 stars (otis, half stars please :) but gave it 5 because I LOL'ed like a n00b AOLer so often.
my notes: Dyson: 7: it is only be remaining as close as possible to the pure function of the object that beauty can be achieved.
7: Anyone can become an expert in anything in six months.
7: After the idea, there is plenty of time to learn the technology.
38: the only way to make a genuine breakthrough is to pursue a vision with a single-minded determination in the face of criticism.
39: the mere fact that something had never been done before presented no suggestion that doing it is impossible.
42: in a world of spreadsheets and accountants, advertising and shiny-suited businessmen, we are growing timid, afraid of our potential for creation.
48: Brunel would wake up and say to himsef, "i want to design the first ocean-going vessel with a screw propeller, it'll look great, be hugely efficient, and change the world." he didn't wake up and think "i think i'll try mixing a few more oats in with the horse's feed and see if it makes the cart go faster."
56: the root principle was to do things your way. it didn't matter how other people did it. it didn't matter if it could be done better. the trick is not to keep looking over your shoulder at others, or to worry, even as you begin a project, that it is not going to be the best possible example of its kind. as long as it works, and it is exciting, people will follow you.
126: there is no such thing as a quantum leap. there is only dogged persistence - and in the end you make it look like a quantum leap. ask the japanese.
168: the japanese put no faith in individualists, and live in an anti-brilliance culture. they know full well that quantum leaps are very rare, but that constant development will result, in the end, in a better product.
176: i am constantly amazed at the way businessmen seem quite happy to treat designers, an approach they would never take with, say, accountants or lawyers. they seem to perceive design as some sort of amateur indulgence, a superfluous frippery in which everyone can chuck in their opinions and to hell with the designer.
195: the thing about inventing is that it is a continual and continuous process, and it is fluid. inventions generate further inventions. in fact, that is where most inventions come from. they very rarely come out of nothing.
203: the edisonian principle: keep testing and retesting and believe only the evidence of your own eyes, not of formulae or of other people's opinions. you may have to fly in the face of public opinion, and market research. they can only tell you what *has* happened. no research can tell you what is *going* to happen.
253: companies are built, not made.
259: a man in jeans and a t-shirt has nothing to hide behind - and will not feel compelled to hide behind conformity in anything else.
261: people wear a suit because if you look the part, if you look efficient, look sober and reliable, people will assume that you are, and you can get away with being inadequate. show up for a marketing meeting in your underpants, though, and you have to be pretty damned impressive to pull it off. i want people to make their judgements abut me for deeper reasons than what i wrap myself in to keep out the cold.
It's hard to fault the author of a memoir for being self-indulgent, especially when the memoir is about a woman's search to find herself. So all I wilIt's hard to fault the author of a memoir for being self-indulgent, especially when the memoir is about a woman's search to find herself. So all I will say is that there were a few moments when I rolled my eyes at her "look at me" stories.
With that out of the way, Gilbert is an excellent writer, and Eat Pray Love was a quick, entertaining, and sometimes insightful read. It covers her year in Italy, India, and Indonesia, where she focused on personal growth by exploring her capacity to appreciate beauty, explore her spirituality, and recover from a broken marriage.
Pretty much every woman I know owns this book, and a few thought it is too "chick lit" for me. I didn't find that to be the case--to me, it was more about an individual's search for growth. I definitely recommend it if you like travel, or are exploring any of beauty, relationships, or spirituality yourself. ...more
a good overview of the history of marriage. it reassured me that the norms and ideals we take for granted right will change, so it's ok to think diffea good overview of the history of marriage. it reassured me that the norms and ideals we take for granted right will change, so it's ok to think different :). and policy decisions and social systems (which always lag behind the times) are still based on 1950s notions of love and marriage.
A corporate culture of greed, a focus on fast profits, a few bad eggs, and a ridiculous lack of board, executive, and accounting oversight combined toA corporate culture of greed, a focus on fast profits, a few bad eggs, and a ridiculous lack of board, executive, and accounting oversight combined to turn Enron into a catastrophic failure.
The most interesting thing for me was that a few Enron employees were aware of what was happening, but either didn't want to speak up, or spoke up and were ignored (sometimes repeatedly).
While I was reading, I wondered whether the shenanigans would have been exposed earlier if data was made available to all Enron employees for scrutiny, and a process was in place for employees to take up concerns. The alternative structure (which led to Enron's downfall) was a system of trust between Enron and Andersen (who audited but also consulted for Enron), and Enron's execs and board. The Andersen guys faced pressure to let some of Enron's accounting misdeeds slip by for fear of jeopardizing huge consulting revenue. And the board would rubber-stamp crooked deals because the execs had signed off on them.
All in all, a worthwhile read... the first two or three hundred pages were interesting, and at times dry, but the last two hundred pages flew by....more
Having read DeMarco's classic on managing software professionals, Peopleware, quite some time ago, it was with eagerness that I dove into Slack.
DeMarHaving read DeMarco's classic on managing software professionals, Peopleware, quite some time ago, it was with eagerness that I dove into Slack.
DeMarco highlights some of the challenges that most software companies face--aggressive schedules, expected overtime, change management, motivating employees, and risk management, among others. He effectively describes the types of scenarios that lead to problems in each area, but does not provide as many solutions as I would have liked. The premise of the book is that slack in an organization--i.e. time spent doing nothing--is an opportunity for employees to step back, evaluate their processes, products, and roles, and effect change to make them better. This also means that 100% efficiency--i.e. being busy all the time--is extremely counter-productive to the growth and dynamism of a company.
I found myself nodding throughout most of the book, but wished DeMarco would have provided more solutions than he did. While it's not perfect, DeMarco does provide some interesting insights and the book is worth a read....more
This is the second book that Phil Terry asked us to read as part of the Creative Good fellows program. It was writted by Jeff Hawkins, creator of the PalmPilot and Treo. Turns out Jeff's other passion is trying to understand how the brain works.
This book lays out his theory of how the mind works in layman's terms. Hawkins premise is that the brain uses a "memory-prediction" framework to operate, and states that his model fills in a lot of holes in existing models of how the brain works. In other words, the brain store past experiences as patterns, and uses those patterns to predict how future events will occur. If future events differ from the predictions, the brain parses the new patterns and adjusts its predictions accordingly.
The model is simple at heart, and makes a lot of sense to this layman. Hawkins' goal is to ultimately build computerized brains, and expresses disappointment at current efforts to do so. This book is a well thought-out argument that thumbs its nose at current thinking, and in my experience, this will only help in achieving Hawkins' ultimate goal of building a functioning brain....more
* nobody can take away your ability to choose how you respond to any situation * he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how - meaning is fucking important! * there is potential for meaning in any moment - meaning is not something up in the clouds. your reaction to the moment can activate that potential... or not. * man is asked what the meaning of life is - it is up to him to be responsible to answer / decide * interesting maxim: "Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now!" * the more man gives of himself, the more he will self-actualize - self-actualization is only possible as a side-effect of self-trascendence * When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. ---
Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and only as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run - in the long run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had *forgotten* to think of it.
37: For the first time I saw the truth, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that love is the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human belief and thought have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.
76: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." - Nietzsche
77: We need to stop asking about the meaning of life and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life - daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
78: Man's unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
78: Asking the meaning of life is a naive query which understands life as the attainment of some goal through the active creation of something of value.
78: Tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.
83: "What you have experienced, no power on earth can take away from you."
109: Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is *he* who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
109: His maxim: "Life as if you were living for the second time and had acted the as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now!"
110: The true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as thought it were a closed system.
110: Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself - be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself - by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love - the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. In other words, self-actualization is only possible as a side effect of self-transcendence.
110: We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: by creating a work or doing a deed, by experiencing something or encountering someone, or by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
110: The second way of finding a meaning in life is by experiencing something - such as goodness, trust and beauty - by experiencing nature and culture, or last but not least, by experiencing another human being in his very uniqueness - by loving him.
112: Uniquely human potential at its best is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. ("creatively change the situation that causes us to suffer")
113: In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
138: One must have a reason to be happy. Once the reason is found, one becomes happy automatically. A human being is not in pursuit of happiness, but rather in search of a reason to become happy through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in any given situation.
144: Meaning is completely down to earth rather than afloat in the air or resident in an ivory tower.
145: Conscience is a prompter which indicates the direction in which we have to move in a given life situation.
i was eagerly anticipating this, but was disappointed. since otis hasn't built half-star ratings yet (my first feature request waaaay back when ;) i'mi was eagerly anticipating this, but was disappointed. since otis hasn't built half-star ratings yet (my first feature request waaaay back when ;) i'm giving this a 3 instead of 2.5, on the basis that there were a couple of laugh-out-loud funny lines.
the problem with sedaris is that he set the bar so damn high with me talk pretty one day. well, it's that and the fact that he recycled at least one of his new yorker columns for this book.
it's classic sedaris - stories about his self-conscious neuroses that focus on interactions with the strange characters that flit in and out of his life. it definitely beats naked (his weakest effort by far imho) but it's not nearly as good as dress your family, barrel fever, or me talk pretty. you can crank through it in a long weekend, but don't do it anywhere other than a beach or airplane - you have better things to read!...more
While halfway through this book, I wondered why it took me a year to start it (having bought it on impulse at Logan Airport on my way to Denmark lastWhile halfway through this book, I wondered why it took me a year to start it (having bought it on impulse at Logan Airport on my way to Denmark last year). It's classic Terry Pratchett satire, and is a hilarious and insightful send-up of leadership and politics. While thoroughly enjoying this book, it made me realize that I need to read more fiction. Non-fiction business books comprise the bulk of my reading list, but there's no better way to learn to tell a story than by reading fiction by authors I enjoy.
This book also resonated with me more on my trip than it would have at home because I did not have to imagine the narrow twisting streets, the tiny horse-drawn carts, and the beautiful architecture of the medieval setting in Night Watch; I was living them in Stonetown....more
We all negotiate every day. Where to go to the movies, what to eat for dinner, how much to sell your $50M revenue company for, how much your salary wiWe all negotiate every day. Where to go to the movies, what to eat for dinner, how much to sell your $50M revenue company for, how much your salary will be at your new job, etc. This is a very useful read, focused on breaking down how you can approach negotiations. Most of the advice you will apply only in the higher-stakes negotiations, but it gives you a good framework for how to approach any negotiation. For example, it tells you how to discern situations when you should make the first offer, and when you shouldn't, when to be ruthless, and when not to be, etc. I'd bet that it's one of the best bang-for-the-buck books you'll read all year... I'd bet it'll help you make a few more $$$ the next time you have to negotiate a salary....more
this is the best practical book on how management is changing and how you can be waaay ahead of the curve. read it, or my notes for an idea of what itthis is the best practical book on how management is changing and how you can be waaay ahead of the curve. read it, or my notes for an idea of what it's about. the book has a lot more practical advice about innovating your management processes regardless of whether you're running your own company or whether you're working at a big corporation.
14: Max Weber has been dead for 90 years, but control, precision, stability, discipline, and reliability - the traits he saluted in his anthem to beaureacracy - are still the canonical views of modern management.
23: Toyota's capacity for continuous improvement has been powered by a belief in the ability of "ordinary" employees to solve complex problems. In 2005, the company received 540,000 improvement ideas from its Japanese employees.
43: Goal of mgmt innovation is to build organizations that are capable of continual, trauma-free renewal.
56: Something in orgs that deplete natural resilience and creativity of human beings - management principles that foster discipline, economy, rationality, and order, yet place little value on artistry, nonconformity, originality, and elan.
62: Hierarchies are good at aggregating effort, at coordinating activities of people with widely differing roles. But not good at mobilizing effort, at inspiring people to go above and beyond. When it comes to mobilizing human capabilities, communities outperform beaureacracies. For several reasons: * In bureaucracy, basis for exchange is contractual; in community, it's voluntary - give your labor to make a difference or exercise talents * In B, you are factor in production; in C, a partner in a cause * In B, loyalty is a product of economic dependency; in C, dedication and commitment depend on one's affiliation with the group's aims and goals * in B, policies and rules determine supervision and control; in C, norms, values, and peer pressure * in B, contributions based on role; in C, capability and disposition are more important than credentials and job desc * in B rewards are mostly financial; in C, mostly emotional
Compared with bureaucracies, communities tend to be unmanaged. That, more than anything else, is why they are amplifiers of human capability.
64: No discussions of mgmt process suggest participants have hearts - none of Beauty, Truth, Love, Service, Wisdom, Justice, Freedom, Compassion. You are unlikely to get bighearted contributions from your employees unless they feel they are working toward some goal that encompasses bighearted ideals.
74: Peer pressure enlists loyalty in ways that bureaucracy doesn't.
75: Whole Foods: 93% of company stock options have been granted to nonexecutives (In most companies, 75% of stock options go to give or fewer senior execs).
89: In a high-trust, low-fear organization, employees don't need a lot of oversight - they need to be mentored and supported, rather than bossed around.
91: Recruiting people to a new initiative is a process of giving away ownership of the idea to people who want to contribute. The project won't go anywhere is you don't let people run with it. - Terri Kelly, CEO, WL Gore
91: Willing commitment is many times more valuable to an org than resigned compliance. Gore tenet: "All commitments are self-commitments." At Gore, tasks can't be assigned, they can only be accepted. Associates are measured and rewarded on the basis of their contribution to team success, they have an incentive to commit to more rather than less. While associates are free to say "no" to any request, a commitment once made is regarded as a near-sacred oath.
97: Mgmt innovation almost always delegates power downward and outward. To enfranchise employees you must disenfranchise managers, yet the redistribution of power is one of the primary means for making organizations more adaptable, more innovative, and more highly engaging.
110: If you run the company as a set of extended conversations, you get a lot of buy-in, and buy-in drives execution.
119: Management innovations that humanize work are the ones most likely to succeed - and they'll help your company recruit the best of the best.
130: To sell one's time rather than what one produced, to pace one's work to the clock, to eat and sleep at precisely defined intervals, to spend long days endlessly repeating the same, small task - none of these were, or are, natural human instincts.
136: You don't need a lot of front-line discipline when four conditions are met: 1. First-line employees are responsible for results 2. Team members have access to real-time performance data 3. They have decision authority over the key variables that influence performance outcomes 4. There's a tight coupling between results, compensation, and recognition
138: Individuals often defend the how of a hoary old management process simply because they haven't thought deeply about other ways of accomplishing the goals that process serves.
161: What can management innovators learn from markets? First and foremost, this: resources (capital and talent) have to be free to seek the best returns.
164: Additional rules for building nimble companies: * First, process of evaluating and pricing new projects needs to be decentralized * Innovators should have access to multiple sources of experimental capital * The more efficient the market for ideas, talent, and capital (the easier it is for internal innovators and investors to find each other, and the fewer the constraints on the internal realignment of resources - the more adaptable a company will be)
167: Additional design rules for 21st century (adaptable) companies: * leaders must be truly accountable to the front lines * employees must feel free to exercise the right of dissent * policy making must be as decentralized as possible * activism must be encouraged and honored
196: What tools can we give to employees to make them fully empowered business innovators? * DB of customer insights and competitor intelligence? * detailed financial stats to explore implications of changes in pricing, promo spending, staffing, etc? * maps of key business processes to reconfigure and analyze them? * internal website that helps individuals gather feedback on their creative ideas?
207: in a community of peers, people bow to competence, commitment, and foresight, rather than to power.
255: For the first time since the dawning of the industrial age, the only way to build a company that's fit for the future is to build one that's fit for human beings as well. *This* is your opportunity - to build a 21st century management model that truly elicits, honors, and cherishes human initiative, creativity, and passion - these tender, essential ingredients for business success in this new millenium. Do that, and you will have built an organization that is fully human and fully prepared for the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead. ...more
this came highly recommended, so my expectations were pretty high. it was a bit slow, but readable, with a payoff (that was somewhat far-fetched, imhothis came highly recommended, so my expectations were pretty high. it was a bit slow, but readable, with a payoff (that was somewhat far-fetched, imho) coming in the final 20-30 pages. i'm curious to read some of the more highly-rated books in the series, but i'm not sure i would recommend reading this one as an intro to the series.
i wish my psychology textbooks read like this back in the day! sway explains many of the reasons we act irrationally. it uses entertaining case studiei wish my psychology textbooks read like this back in the day! sway explains many of the reasons we act irrationally. it uses entertaining case studies to do so, and is written in an incredibly accessible manner. highly recommended if you want to be more aware of your own irrational behavior, and thus make better decisions....more
TRUTH 7: In order to grow, you must repeatedly tackle fresh challenges and consider new ideas to give your mind rePersonal Development for smart people
TRUTH 7: In order to grow, you must repeatedly tackle fresh challenges and consider new ideas to give your mind resh input. If you merely repeat the same experiences, you'll stagnate, and your mental capacity will atrophy.
7: Excessive routine is the enemy of intelligence.
7: Think about where your life is headed and and yourself "how do i honestly expect my life to turn out?" imagine a logical impartial observer is assigned examine your life in detail and to predict what your life will look like in 20 years, based on your current behavior patterns. If you're brave enough, ask several people who know you well to give you an honest assessment of where they see you in two decades. their answers may surprise you.
13: the best point to make new choices is when you feel alert, clearheaded, and intelligent. put those decisions in writing and fully commit yourself to them. when you inevitably sink back down to lower states and lose sight of that higher perspective, continue to act on those decisions even though you may no longer feel as committed to them. if your decisions are not perfect, when you use this process, you can at least trust that you made them correctly and from a place of truth.
16: When you sense a conflict between feelings, beliefs, and behavior ask yourself if you really believe what you've been taught. are your beliefs truthful and accurate? are they congruent with your perceptions? in order to align yourself with truth, you must eventually release erroneous, inaccurate, and inconsistent beliefs. cultivating self-trust frees you; self-doubt enslaves you.
22: Look at each area of your life and ask yourself, What do I truly want? What is my dream, my grand vision? What is the deep desire Ive been longing for, the one i hesitate to admit because i don't think i can have it? what path do i most want to experience? accept that you want what you want, and stop living in denial of your true desires.
LOVE 27: the decision to connect is the essence of love.
28: if you want to grow consciously, you must deliberately decide which connections you'll strengthen and which you'll allow to weaken.
29: as adults we often forget that the best way to fulfill our desires is to walk right up to whatever interests us and engage with it directly. instead, we create all kinds of silly rules that limit our ability to connect with what we want. by consciously making connections that feel intuitively correct to you, you bring yourself into alignment with the principle of love.
31: when you understand there's no such thing as an external relationship, you'll become aware that the true purpose of relationships is self-exploration. when you feel a deep sense of communion with another person, you're actually connecting deeply with an important part of yourself. by communing with others, you learn to love yourself more fully.
35: next time you're with a group of people, imagine that each person there is inherently connected to you, and notice what happens.
40: Love is not an accident. love is a choice to recognize the deep nonphysical connection we all share. to love is to say "we are all the same."
44: think of your relationships as external projections of the real you, and you'll realize that the purpose of every relationship is to teach you how to love yourself from the inside out. WHenever you communicate with another person, you're exploring the depths of your own consciousness because that's where all your relationships exist.
POWER 50: What do you long for so badly that you can't stop thinking about it, even if you consider it impossible. If you want to develop your power, you must accept your desires as they come, no matter how strange they may seem.
51: Your choices are yours to make and can never be dictated by others. you need never justify what you want. you want what you want, and that is enough. in order to wield power effectively, you must accept full responsibility for your life and be willing to make decisions under all circumstances. this includes ambiguous, challenging, and risky situations. there's no rule that says you have to be right. the only rule is that no matter what happens, you're responsible.
51:when you face important crossrowads in life, exercise your power to decide consciously. offer up a definitive yes or no. don't succumb to the blind defeat of silent approval. to align yourself with power, you must make real choices.
51: life is constantly asking "what do you want?" you have the freedom to answer that question however you wish.
52: is makes sense to focus your attention on the current moment since it's the only place you have any real power (past is over and you have no control over the future)
53: the purpose of goal setting is not to control future, but to improve quality of present-moment reality - give you better clarity and focus. set goals that make you feel powerul, motivated, and driven when you focus on them, long before the final outcome is actally achieved. avoid setting goals that make you feel powerless, stressed, or weak.
56: your goals don't need to be specific, clear, and measurable. oyu don't need crisp deadlines and you don't need detailed step by step plans. you simply need a burning desire to take action. only goals that align with your truest, deepest desires can summon that kind of power. pick goals that are so exciting that making a serious effort feels almost effortless.
58: motivation is highest when you're already in motion. if you can summon enough discipline to get going again, you'll often find that your momentum reboots your natural motivation to continue.
59: no problems are big or small except relative to your self-discipline. the more disciplined you are, the lighter your problems are. building self-discipline is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do.
64: if you adopt a highly disciplined routine for your first waking hour, you'll probably enjoy a highly productive day.
ONENESS 70: love is choosing to connect. oneness is knowing your already connected. found the easiest way to tune in to oneness is ask "where is the joy"
73: genuine honesty is truth tempered with love
86: there's no higher authority in life than you. if you think anyone else has authority over you, it's only because you yield your authority by choice. sometimes the consequences are so severe that you feel as if you have no choice, but in truth you always do.
87: if you fail to claim authority over your own life, someone else will surely claim it for you.
COURAGE 102: enables us to face long-term gain in the face of short-term obstacles. without sufficient courage, your default behavior will be to play it safe by favoring false security over purposeful action.
102: a good rule of thumb to follow is: whatever you fear, you must eventually face
102: before you embark on any path, ask the question: does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. If your path has no heart, you're on the wrong path. the heart-centered path is that of courage, not false security. the illusion of security is the primary aim of the false path.
104: go out and actively create what you want. life is waiting for you to make the first move. use your power. fear is the shroud of opportunity. your greatest regrets in life won't be the mistakes you made; they'll be the opportunities you let slip through your fingers by failing to act. when you take the initiative, you pull back the shroud of fear and catch a glimpse of the opportunity behind it.
105: if you want something, ask for it. accept the risk of rejection and summon the courage to take action anyway. if you get turned down, you'll survive. you'll learn from the experience and grow stronger. if you don't get rejected, you'll achieve your outcome in the fastest and simplest way possible. when you risk rejection, either you get what you want or you build some courage. either way the outcome is positive.
107: the guiding force of honor is your conscience, which is your intuitive ability to discern right from wrong. right actions are aligned with truth, love, and power. wrong actions are out of alignment with these principles. a sense of honor enables you to perceive the difference.
108: when you feel lazy and unmotivated, the simple reason is that you're feeling disconnected. you've fallen out of alignment with truth, love, and power. when you recognize that you're in this state, reconnect with the real you. remember who you are. reconnect with what excites you. revisit those times in life when you were on fire - not because of external events, but because you were aligned with your truth, love, and power. turn your gaze within and ask yourself: where is the path with a heart, and what can i do to honor that path right now? whatever the answer, summon the courage to take immediate action.
119: when we creatively express ourselves, we're honestly sharing what's most important to us.
121: when you're in flow, you'll know without a doubt that you're on the right track as you make progress towards something meaningful and important. what inspires you isn't the achievement of any particular goal; it's the endless flow of self-expression. you'll fall in love with the journey itself.
CAREER 161: "work is love made visible."
170: what is the career path with a heart - the path that terrifies you, the path that stirs your soul, the path you secretly fantasize about that's the path that honors the real you.
my cousin from delhi gave me this, and i read it while traveling in india.
it's a great overview of where india is and is poised to go in the 21st centmy cousin from delhi gave me this, and i read it while traveling in india.
it's a great overview of where india is and is poised to go in the 21st century. luce explains india's dynasty politics (nehru/gandhi) and religious context to help the reader understand how india's bureaucracy, system of government, conflict with pakistan, treatment of muslims, relationship with china and the US, and current economic drivers will play a role in india becoming the next great superpower.
his conclusion is that achieving greatness is "india's to lose", though there are big obstacles standing in its way. some of the biggest include unfireable gov't employees, rampant corruption, and well-intentioned policies that don't help india's massive poor population out of poverty.
a fascinating read if you want a broad overview of india's potential in the 21st century. --- 242: on india's first cricket match vs. pakistan, in karachi: "every indian i met said he had been treated like a long-ost brother; shopkeepers had refused to accept their cash; taxi-drivers had declined fares; hotels were waiving bills; and people kept approaching them on the streets to offer sweets and other small gifts. 'it is overwhelming' same one among a group of indian men, all dressed in the blue shirts of their national team. 'we didn't know what to expect but we feared there would be hostility'. india won the game and received a prolonged ovation from the vast pakistan crowd.
329: laws are a modern talisman intended to bring results by the magical power of words themselves. hundreds of years ago, foreign chroniclers of india observed the tendency of Brahmins to prefer words to action, and sometimes to believe they were one and the same thing.
what appears to be chaotic on the surface is often just how it should be.
"remember, india always wins". India has a way of confounding you and still making you laugh abut it.
This book is part of the curriculum of the 2005 Creative Good Fellows program that I'm taking part in. It outlines a holistic method to develop a business model for one's business: the external forces, internal capabilities, and financial targets all work in conjunction with each other to paint a picture of a business' health and growth oppotunities.
The first half of the book describes how to use this model to "confront reality" and look at your business how it actually is, instead of how you want it to be. The emphasis on seeking out reasons for change and reacting to the root causes (instead of reacting simply to the change) make intuitive sense to me. A long-term outlook balanced with fulfilling short-term objectives is a party line often preached but not followed in corporate America.
The second half of the book describes case studies of heroic CEOs who used Charan and Bossidy's model to right companies (in industries where fundamental structural change has occurred) or to ride out cyclical changes and position their companies for future growth.
It's an easy read and there are some very good ideas in here (specifically: the notions that seeking out diversity of perspectives, focusing on the consumer's needs, and keeping an eye on the reasons "why" industry change occurs are healthy for a business), and makes me want to check out Charan and Bossidy's better-known book, Execution....more
I read this book for the Creative Good Fellows program, and despite Phil Terry's ravings about how good this book is, I was not really looking forward to it. Turns out I should have taken my kindergarten teacher's advice and not judged The Service Profit Chain to be yet another boring business book based on its generic cover.
The Service Profit Chain lays out a connection that is relevant to any service organization: a measurable set of relationships between profitibility, customer loyalty and satisfaction, and employee satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty. It's not as dry as I expected, either, as it uses real-world examples (which I generally find helpful) from studies conducted in organizations like Southwest Airlines, MBNA, British Airways, and Ritz-Carlton, among others.
The tactic The Service Profit Chain took was to identify the relationships between business drivers and profitibility. So, instead of agreeing that "market share" or "customer satisfaction" are important and focusing on getting more, it identifed which business drivers could actually be tied to profitibility--market share wasn't one of them--and provided examples on how those drivers could be positively impacted to make a company more profitable.
There are some take-aways that can be applied to the work I currently do, but they are really relevant at a higher level where more broadly-reaching decisions are made. In other words, it's not wholly relevant yet, but definitely goes into the "read again" pile....more
i was browsing the shelves at a bookstore in ireland, looking to pick up some literature that was more manageable than joyce's Odyssey. ran across thii was browsing the shelves at a bookstore in ireland, looking to pick up some literature that was more manageable than joyce's Odyssey. ran across this book, about michael o'leary, the irish fellow who took ryanair from a small, regional money-losing airline to what, in 2011, will be the biggest in europe. even since reading richard branson's losing my virginity, i've found the airline biz fascinating. so that was a hook... these two o'leary quotes on the book jacket sold me:
"there's no point in having some long-term plan because a long-term plan gets knocked on its ass," and
"business books are bullshit and usually written by wankers."
the book chronicles the beginnings of ryanair in the 80s to its rise an airline that carried 40m passengers and made 470 million euros in profit in 2007. it's very thorough, covering all kinds of machinations and intrigue between ryanair and the large state-run airlines over the past 20 years. fascinating also is how o'leary changed the airline biz model so that he didn't make the majority of his money from airfares, instead focusing on a extremely low-cost, high-volume model that makes revenue from selling ancillary services to passengers.
ultimately, their success can be attributed to three things:
a) cutting costs mercilessly, especially signing sweetheart deals with airports near major city centers that were dying for passengers (stanstead near london, for example) b) rampant and cheeky promotion by o'leary which, good or bad, always caused ticket sales to spike (one of my fave stories is about him, post-9/11, driving a tank towards an airport declaring a war on low fares... also see this latest hilarious clip which has o'leary declaring in a press conference that blowjobs will be included on transatlantic flights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfIY24...) c) a culture of experimentation that allows ryanair to move quickly to try, fail, learn, and rapidly respond to changing market conditions
don't read this unless you're interested in the airline industry - it's not as wide-ranging or personal as branson's losing my virginity. but if you are the least bit curious about how ryanair got to where it is today, this is the book for you....more
I had been eagerly awaiting this title for some time now, and, it turns out, rightly so. In Blink, Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) describes aI had been eagerly awaiting this title for some time now, and, it turns out, rightly so. In Blink, Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) describes a two-second timespan in which many "gut" decisions are made and how those decisions are sometimes better than ones made after significant analysis of all available information.
Often, the presence of too much information means a decision maker will consider the wrong information to be more important than it is, which will lead to a false conclusion. Gladwell describes how limiting information in some situations may actually result in better decisions.
Gladwell is a great storyteller, and he uses examples from everyday life to make his points. I found Blink hard to put down, but then again I find the psychology that underlies behavior to be fascinating.
This book is applicable across many domains, but should be read by anybody who is responsible for designing a product's user experience. The content here about first impressions, decision making, and the tyranny of choice provide insight about how to make products more customer friendly. I highly recommended reading Blink....more
This book fascinated me because it was written in a factual, emotionless style. It's about Christopher, an autistic boy investigating the murder of aThis book fascinated me because it was written in a factual, emotionless style. It's about Christopher, an autistic boy investigating the murder of a dog in his neighborhood, but the boy's adventures quickly extend beyond a murder investigation. It is heartbreaking at times, but strangely also provides insight about designing software.
What I found relevant in this book was how many inferences we make in daily conversation. Whether it's reading body language or underlying assumptions about the subtext in conversations, so much of what we mean is unsaid. Christopher's autism prevents him from reading these subtexts, and so his interpretations of situations in the book are likely very different from yours or mine (which also are probably not the same).
Applying these learnings to building web products underscores the importance of writing precisely. Even the very best user interfaces and specifications will be susceptible to misinterpretation, but writing exactly what you mean (and supplying pictures, like Haddon does in this book) will help immensely in clearing up as many assumptions as possible....more
This is Semler's second book, and it reads a lot like a management strategy guide containing principles with anecdotes from Semco that illustrate those principles compared to Maverick, which read like a story of the highs and lows of the organizational experiments conducted at Semco.
Semler's main points thus far are: 1. Ask "why" several times when making a decision Asking "why" ensures that you make a decision for the right reasons, and are not doing so because "that's the way it has always been done," or because the highest-ranking official in the room thinks that proceeding with Decision X is the right way to go.
2. Respect and trust your employees as if they are adults Respecting and trusting your employees is a no-brainer. There are too many companies around that treat their employees as if they were children, not trusting them to make decisions about products, expenses, performance goals, dress, or about a host of other subjects. Setting expectations are a self-fulfilling prophecy--expect someone to act a certain way, and MUCH more often than not, they will. Also, allowing your employees a voice and a hand in the process by which your organization is run and by which your strategy is determing will benefit the company in the long run, for two reasons. First, they will be able to shape their environment to maximize productivity (instead of decrees coming down from on high from someone in HR) and will feel ownership in building your products. And second, there is a dearth of research that shows that any one person has had continuingly brilliant vision and strategy to implement that vision.
3. Be a hard-ass about hitting performance numbers Hitting performance numbers is important at Semco because nothing else matters--work time, location, dress, etc. They play tight with the numbers because they play loose with everything else. That's not to say that employees are fired for missing numbers, but there had better be good reasons for why those numbers were missed.
So far, it has been as enlightening as Semler's first book, and I look forward to reading much more on the subject of organizational behavior and structure....more
This has been on my list for years now, and I finally got around to picking it up as a summer / travel read before heading to Africa. It's autobiographical, and details Hornby's relationship with FC Arsenal, and the sport of soccer. The book was adaptated into the sub-par Fever Pitch, the movie, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.
Some of Hornby's observations provide piercing insight into the relationship fans have with their favorite teams and fellow fans. He describes everything from how sports provide an instantaneous means for (especially) men to connect, the agony of crushing defeats and miraculous highs of magnificent victories, and the joyous delerium of winning a championship (those passages took me back to the Blue Jays' World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993).
It's well worth a read if you are a sports fan, or want to get in the head of one for a little while....more
I first heard of Guy Kawasaki when his brilliant college graduation speech passed through my email client several years ago. His speech impressed with his practical insight, entertainment value, and conciseness. I later learned that he had evangelized the original Macintosh while at Apple, which made his book on startups a no-brainer read for me.
The Art of the Start is a quick read, and is written in Kawasaki's entertaining and informative style. It details the lessons he has learned that are relevant to people starting up new businesses, new business units, or developing new products inside an existing company.
Kawasaki covers such topics as: pitching, writing a business plan, raising capital, bootstrapping, recruiting, branding, and rainmaking, among others. I agreed with much of his high-level content--for example, the best way to build a brand is to build a good product--but this book has such good tactical information that I'm going to return this copy to the library and buy one to use as a reference.
A Canadian friend living in Boston lent me this book to read. It details the stories and rationales of many Canadians living and working in the US. It's definitely worth a read if you are a Canadian living in the US or are interested in the subtle distinctions that differentiate the countries.
These differences are illustrated by a thorough examination of policy as it relates to promoting economic growth in the academic, entrepreneurial, business, and entertainment communities in both countries. Simpson also provides a good overview of the differences in the healthcare systems, crime statistics, and racial compositions of Canada and the US.
Ultimately, it paints a depressing picture for ambitious Canadians who don't want to spend their professional lives in the US; the economic policies of the Canadian government simply don't encourage growth as well as US policies, and Canada's size presents huge issues with regard to providing career opportunities versus its neighbor to the South....more
My CTO lent me this book after a conversation about how the ubiquity of wireless devices can foster social change. It describes how the Japanese company DoCoMo introduced the wireless service "i-mode" to Japan and the subsequently unbelievable adoption rates of the service.
The book describes how DoCoMo spurred such change by creating a unique company culture in addition to describing the unique cultural characteristics that contributed to i-mode's success--things like a lack of residential Internet service, long daily commutes on public transportation, and tiny homes all provided incentives for the Japanese populace to adopt wireless communication technologies.
In North America, we're seeing adoption of things like the Danger Sidekick II and camera phones, which translate into new ways of communicating (moblogs and flash mobs are two examples). However, the question remains as to whether North Americans will ever take to the mobile phone as those in Japan, China, and much of Europe have. It will be interesting to learn about such a success story and to think about how and if circumstances will be similar in North America such that explosive mobile adoption rates become a reality on this side of the pond....more
This book is about how groups that are diverse, decentralized, make decisions independently, and have some method of aggregating individual decisions, will very often consistently make better decisions than any one member of the group.
The classic example is asking a group to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar--the group's average guess will consistently be better than any one group member's guess.
Surowiecki, who writes for the The New Yorker, takes this model and applies it to areas like financial and decision markets, business strategy, and traffic patterns to show how group decisions are often better than an expert's. A fascinating and easy read--read it if you enjoyed The Tipping Point or anything by Michael Lewis....more